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DiCicco: True Reform Starts with Cap 2.5 Resolutions Not 2.9 Loopholes

June 25, 2010

Domenick DiCicco

Testifying before the Assembly Budget Committee today on legislation to cap spending at 2.9 percent by statute, Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco, R- Gloucester and Camden, said that support of this approach sends the message that lawmakers do not trust voters to make spending decisions.

DiCicco, along with Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth and Mercer, are prime sponsors of two concurrent resolutions (ACR 130 and 131) that would constitutionally guarantee state and local spending be limited to 2.5 percent unless overridden by voters.  Those resolutions, introduced on May 20th, have yet to receive a hearing in their respective committees.

“The difference between the Democrat-sponsored 2.9 percent cap and the resolutions I am proposing is trust,”

said DiCicco. 

“The Democrats believe voters trust lawmakers to do the right thing.  I believe the 2.9 percent proposal says that lawmakers don’t trust the public to do the right thing. 

“The 2.9 percent proposal is riddled with loopholes,”

continued DiCicco. 

“While supporters say 2.9 allows towns flexibility, I believe its major flaw is that the opportunity for circumventing the proposed legislation will continue.  Even if this legislation were enacted, the Local Finance Board would continue to determine when exemptions to local spending were permissible.  Decisions rendered by that entity have played a major role in contributing to New Jersey’s soaring property taxes.”

            DiCicco continued to push for action on the resolutions which must receive legislative approval by early July in order to be placed on November’s ballot for voter approval.

“Voters deserve the opportunity to decide whether capping spending at 2.5 percent is a good idea,”

stated DiCicco. 

“If we are truly interested in reforming the way government operates, the constitutional amendments are an important first step.  There are over 200 mayors in the state who support the amendments, including the mayors of some of the state’s largest cities.  The spending cap limitations provided by ACR 130 and 131 provide our best hope for solving the state’s chronic property tax problem.”

            In addition to Assemblyman DiCicco, Haddon Heights Mayor Scott Alexander and Gloucester Councilwoman Crystal Evans testified before the committee in support of the Cap 2.5 concurrent resolutions.

“Mayors need a strong hard cap in order to ensure the welfare of their municipalities,” said Mayor Alexander.  “A statutory cap has too many loopholes for any mayor to feel comfortable that property taxes will stay in check long-term.”

Councilwoman Evans stated,

“New Jersey residents hare paying the highest property taxes in the nation.  Finally, we have a new governor who has put forth the idea of providing a 2.5 percent hard cap.  This gives the decision to the people.  We need control of spending and we need to make New Jersey more affordable.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. LeedsDevil permalink
    June 26, 2010 3:50 am

    Assemblyman Dominick DiCicco(R)is from my District and what he has to say about the Democrats wanting to “tweak” Gov. Christie’s proposed 2.5 Cap on spending increases up to 2.9 proposal…WITH LOOPHOLES they can jump through, well,he’s right. It’s a matter of “trust”…who’s gonna be trusted?…The people…or our lawmakers? Are they going to be able to continue dipping into our pockets, at will, as they have in the past when they felt so moved…or are they going to allow us to say WE CAN’T AFFORD THAT, like we would with our own families when we see our budgets stretched? We the people need to let them know, they can’t have all the cash to spend that have made them “popular” with certain voting populations. THEY are going to have to now decide what they will need to cut and what is essential to keep NEEDED services running. Just like us, they are going to have to “turn the lights out when they leave a room”… Yeah, they love their “photo-op’s” in the local newspapers when they open a new park, or recreation center…but they too have to learn…WE can’t afford them any longer. And THEY are going to have rein themselves in…and just like any teenager who’s just been told “we can’t afford the latest ‘Apple’ operating system”…they are going to have to suck it up too! Time for them to learn to impress those of us who would like to see some fiscal restraint for a change!

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